Current Models and Strategies of Assessment
As the laws changed with respect to the custody of children, mental health professionals became increasingly more involved in assisting the courts in the decision-making process. Early in this history, the guidelines were very clear: fathers had an absolute right to their children, and therefore custody decisions were easily made by those in authority. Later, mothers superseded fathers in the frequency of obtaining custody, and unless there were extenuating circumstances, mothers were awarded custody almost exclusively. In accordance with another clear guideline, prior to the advent of no-fault divorce, children were routinely placed with the “innocent” party. In this situation there was little reason to involve professionals outside the legal system; one need only determine which parent was at fault and then give custody to the other. Although mental health professionals may have had some role, especially when there was question of mental illness, their involvement was infrequent by today’s standards.
KeywordsMental Health Professional Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Child Custody Custody Placement Current Mental Status
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